L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

2014 ALAS State Tournament Attracts Record Number of Competitors

Release Date: 03/21/2014

2014 ALAS State Tournament Attracts Record Number of Competitors
2014 ALAS State Tournament Attracts Record Number of Competitors
2014 ALAS State Tournament Attracts Record Number of Competitors

March 21, 2014 -- The 2014 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament, held March 1 in Alexandria, set a record for participating students and schools.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted the competition at the LSU Ag Center’s State Emergency Shelter.
 
“Student enthusiasm for target-style archery training has steadily increased since the ALAS program began,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Any student can participate and most find it an enjoyable school activity that can lead to competitive events such as the state and national tournament.”
 
A record 714 students from 31 schools competed for individual and team awards as well as the opportunity to qualify for the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Ky.  The State Champion team and top ten individuals in each division automatically qualify for the national tournament.
 
Awards were given to the top three teams and the top 5 individuals in each division.  Prizes included trophies, plaques, archery equipment donated by Cabela’s, state prize bows and two $1,250 scholarships for the top male and female shooter in Louisiana, provided by Central Louisiana QDMA.
 
Team Awards:
 
High School Division:
State Champion – Caddo Magnet High School
Runner Up – Benton High School
3rd Place – Bossier High School
 
Middle School Division:
State Champion – Benton Middle School
Runner Up – Cope Middle School
3rd Place – Haughton Middle School
 
Elementary School Division:
State Champion – Benton Elementary School
Runner Up – Phoenix Magnet Elementary
3rd Place – Poland Junior High
 
Individual Awards:
Top Male Shooter – Zach Roppolo, Cope Middle School
Top Female Shooter – Kendall Orms, Benton Middle School
 
Top Five (1st to 5th Place in order)
 
High School:
Gabe Fradella, Matthew Gideon, Rebecca Hutchinson, Emily Finch and Josh Edvettal
 
Middle School:
Zach Roppolo, Kendall Orms, Kendall Fowler, Taylor Levasseur and Raygen Snellgrove
 
Elementary School:
Jazmine Young, Lake Bradford, Josh Farris, Kaitilyn Masters and Carly Vas Buskirk
 
Along with the over 700 student archers and coaches, nearly 2,000 spectators watched the competition.  While attending the competition, spectators were also able to visit vendor exhibits provided by ALAS sponsors and LDWF program exhibits.
 
The Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program is affiliated with the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) which introduces students in grades 4-12 to international target-style archery.
 
LDWF would like to acknowledge tournament sponsors and partners including Central Louisiana QDMA, Louisiana Archery and Sports Center, Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana National Wild Turkey Federation, Alexandria/Pineville Visitors and Convention Bureau, LSU Ag Center, Outlaws BBQ, Cenla Signs, H&E Equipment, Cenla Buck Busters Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Cabela’s, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Red River Music, NASP, Craig’s Cleaners, and all the volunteers who assisted in making this event a success.
 
For more information on ALAS, contact program coordinator Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .

 

Experts search for cold-tolerant weevils

Release Date: 03/21/2014

(Mar 21, 2014) - Unusually cold temperatures in the northern parishes are expected to have killed 90 percent of the salvinia weevils used to combat the invasive aquatic plant giant salvinia, which is clogging waterways across Louisiana.
 
That reality has experts from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with LSU AgCenter weed scientist Dearl Sanders and fellow scientists Seth Johnson and Stephen Micinski, searching for weevils that can survive the winter in north Louisiana as they do in the southern parishes.
 
“We know that all of the weevils that are in the United States came into this country through the quarantine system in Mission, Texas, and they probably were selected out for heat-tolerant weevils,” Sanders said. 
 
That has worked well for the giant salvinia control efforts in south Louisiana, said LSU AgCenter entomologist Seth Johnson. But in north Louisiana cold tolerance is what’s needed.
 
“In south Louisiana, the salvinia weevil is what you might call a silver bullet,” Johnson said. “The giant salvinia plant isn’t totally gone, but its presence seems to be just enough to support the weevils that are controlling it.”
 
LSU AgCenter’s main role in the current project that began in January is to search for weevils that are more adapted to the northern part of the state.  Weevils reproduce rapidly, which is great for this project.
 
“We’ve used the one nursery site in southern Louisiana for the distribution of weevils all over the state,” Johnson said. “So we’ll probably need to establish a nursery in north Louisiana and follow the same model.”
 
LSU AgCenter researcher Stephen Micinski, who works at the Red River Research Station in Bossier Parish, said he has found some weevils that survived the winter in Shreveport’s Cross Lake and some have also been found in Texas.
 
The LSU AgCenter has been involved in the giant salvinia eradication program since the weed was found at Toledo Bend in 1999. Since this invasive species was first identified, both LDWF and the LSU AgCenter have been looking for ways to control it.
 
LSU AgCenter Associate Vice Chancellor Rogers Leonard said Louisiana is fortunate to have a team of scientists from both agencies with expertise to evaluate and recommend a range of management strategies.  
 
“Collaborative research and outreach efforts from several agencies will be necessary to reduce the impact of this invasive species in Louisiana’s waterways,” Leonard said.   “The weevil is just one example of a sustainable and environmentally- friendly control measure.   We are hopeful that as Louisiana scientists are provided more opportunities to expand research, the current system of using the weevil can be improved.”   
 
The initial estimate of the infestation was about 400 acres in 1999, but the number quickly escalated to more than 70,000 acres in 20 Louisiana lakes by 2010.
 
By 2009, scientists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LSU AgCenter were combining their efforts in an attempt to control giant salvinia with the salvinia weevil.
 
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said there has been much success in controlling the giant salvinia in south Louisiana, but the results in north Louisiana has him concerned.
 
"Not only is giant salvinia endangering the ecology of our lakes, it's also threatening the economies of lakeside communities that depend on fishing, boating and tourism,” Barham said.
 
It is important to find ways to introduce cold-tolerant weevils into the waterbodies of north Louisiana, he said. 
 
“It is our hope that focusing weevil research and development in this direction will provide an effective, efficient giant salvinia control measure for all lakes in north Louisiana," explained Barham.  "We also want to encourage concerned anglers and other resource users to assist in our control efforts by inspecting and cleaning their boats, trailers, personal watercraft intakes and other equipment of all aquatic vegetation before leaving an infected area."
 
Giant salvinia is native to Brazil and had spread to many areas of the world in the 1950s and 1960s. 
 
“The weed came here as part of the water garden trade,” Sanders said. “Once people realized the weed was taking over their ponds, some pulled it up and threw it in ditches and it ended up in the waterways.”
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733. 
 

 

Wildlife Division Biologist Receives Outstanding Leadership Award

Release Date: 03/21/2014

Wildlife Division Biologist Receives Outstanding Leadership Award

March 21, 2014 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Wildlife Division Biologist Fred Hagaman received the Louisiana Society of American Forester’s (LASAF) 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award at the group’s annual meeting in Monroe, La.
 
Hagaman, a Pineville resident, is a biologist manager in the LDWF Forestry Section and is responsible for the management of forest resources in the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion of the state. He began his career with the Forestry Section in 1998 overseeing forest management of Bayou Pierre, Little River, and Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).  He now oversees the management of forest resources and associated wildlife habitat on twelve WMAs, as well as maintaining the statewide WMA forest resource database.
 
Hagaman served as 2013 State Chair of the LASAF where he promoted forest conservation and sustainable forest management at many levels, including his participation at the SAF National Convention in Charleston, S.C. 
 
The LASAF is a professional organization whose members are responsible for the management of Louisiana’s forest and natural resources.  The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and, to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/<br />
www.wlf.louisiana.gov">www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb<br />
www.facebook.com/ldwffb">www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
Photo caption: Louis “Buddy” Vanhoof, 2014 Chairman of the Louisiana Society of American Foresters, presents the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award to Fred Hagaman (right).
 

 

Louisiana Crab Task Force Special Meeting

Release Date: 03/21/2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 310

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

AGENDA

I.  Roll Call and introduction of guest

II.  Discussion of potential 2014 crab task force legislation

  1. Licenses
  2. Escape Rings

III. Placement of Artificial Reef Sites

IV.Public Comment

V. Set Next Meeting

VI. Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

Oil Well Road on Pearl River WMA Has Been Reopened

Release Date: 03/21/2014

March 21, 2014 – Oil Well Road on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in southeastern St. Tammany Parish has been reopened.  Responding to requests from the public, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reviewed the road closure and determined it was not obtaining the benefit sought from the seasonal closure that had been in effect since 2002. 
 
Following completion of temporary road repairs March 20, the gate was opened to allow public use of the road.  WMA users are cautioned to follow speed limits posted on the WMA roads to prevent damage or injury to themselves or other users on the WMA.  Additional repairs are scheduled for Oil Well Road and other roads on the WMA this year once weather conditions allow and LDWF can mobilize equipment necessary to complete planned repairs.  Temporary closures will be enacted during the repair period.
 
For more information, please contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.

New Rules for Natural and Scenic Rivers System Now in Effect

Release Date: 03/20/2014

New rules governing the Louisiana’s Natural and Scenic Rivers System, announced by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) in October 2013, become effective today, March 20, 2014.
Recommendations to amend the existing rules were made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

The new rules include:

  • The use of a motor vehicle or other wheeled or tracked vehicle on a designated system stream is now prohibited, except for permitted uses and direct crossings by immediately adjacent landowners, lessees, and persons who have written permission from the landowner for non-commercial activities that do not significantly degrade the ecological integrity of the stream.
  • Natural and Scenic Rivers System regulations now conform with the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act relative to activities more than 100 feet from designated system streams that have potential to directly and significantly degrade the ecological integrity of a system stream may require a permit.
  • A permit is now required for a moored houseboat or floating camp, except when moored to a legally permitted piling, pier or bulkhead or moored to trees using connections that do not damage the trees and with written permission of the owner of the trees. Legally moored houseboats with a permit or letter of certification from the parish health unit, verifying an approved sewerage disposal system is on board, would also be excepted.

To review the revised Title 76, Part IX, Sections 105, 115 and 117, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/new-rule-changes .
The Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act of 1970 provides LDWF the authority to regulate those activities that may directly and significantly degrade the ecological integrity of a natural and scenic river. The Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System for the purpose of preserving, protecting, developing, reclaiming, and enhancing the wilderness qualities, scenic beauties, and ecological regimes of certain free-flowing Louisiana streams. Today, there are approximately 3,000 miles of designated Natural and Scenic Rivers in the state.
For more information, contact Keith Cascio at 318-343-4045 or kcascio@wlf.la.gov, or Chris Davis at 225-765-2642 or rcdavis@wlf.la.gov .

 

Urban Fishing Opportunities Take to New Orleans City Park

Release Date: 03/18/2014

Mar. 17, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries wants kids to add fishing to their list of favorite outdoor activities, so with spring right around the corner, they are hosting two youth-targeted fishing events in New Orleans City Park: Youth Fishing Clinic, March 22 and the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, March 29.
 
Youth Fishing Clinic
Prior to the annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, the Department will offer a free, Youth Fishing Clinic designed to teach youth basic fishing techniques and offer tips on how to fish City Park.  The clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 22 from 8 a.m. to noon, and the first 50 individuals to register will receive an order of beignets from Morning Call and a rod and reel, courtesy of CCA Louisiana.
 
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Old Casino Building, and all participating anglers must be 16 and younger and accompanied by an adult.  Participants should also bring their own gear.
 
Big Bass Rodeo & Fishtival
 
Held in the park since 1946, the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival has grown into one of the most popular family fishing events in the country.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, and events kick off at 6:30 a.m.  Unlike high caliber bass fishing tournaments, this nonprofessional rodeo provides fishing categories and activities for all ages and is a great opportunity to teach novice anglers about the sport of fishing. 
 
The 2014 event also marks the introduction of a brand new fishing event, Boats on the Bayou, a division for non-motorized boats including kayaks and canoes.  This event takes place on Bayou St. John and is limited to the first 100 registrants.
 
“A key barrier to learning how to fish is a lack of fishing opportunities close to home,” explained LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “This event will provide New Orleans area residents with an opportunity to learn more about the great fishing that City Park has to offer – which we hope will hook them on a lasting appreciation for the sport.”
 
Fisheries staff will be on hand at the Fishtival to offer advice and assist anglers in learning how to fish.  Information will also be available detailing local fishing resources, fishing basics and fish identification.  Other exciting features include a mobile touch tank, fish tagging demonstrations and photo opportunities with Robbie the Redfish.
 
The Department will also introduce the LDWF Youth Fishing Program at the event.  You can compete in various activities to receive a Big Bass Rodeo patch (scouts only) or sticker.
 
Additional details and online registration can be found on the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival website: http://www.neworleanscitypark.com/big-bass-fishing-rodeo-and-fishtival.  Registration fees range from $5 to $10, depending on the age of the angler.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

New Informational Site Helps Buyers Understand the Sustainability of Gulf Seafood

Release Date: 03/14/2014

New Informational Site Helps Buyers Understand the Sustainability of Gulf Seafood

March 14, 2014 - Seafood buyers and other interested parties now have access to a one-stop-shop for the information they need to be confident that seafood harvested from Louisiana and other Gulf state fisheries is sustainable. Launching at Seafood Expo North America, GulfFishInfo.org, or Gulf FINFO, gathers information from fisheries experts from across the Gulf states and puts easy to understand, science-based facts about Gulf state fisheries at the public’s fingertips.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) collaborated with counterparts in the other Gulf states, the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, and NOAA Fisheries to develop FINFO. FINFO provides a platform for these authorities to communicate how they conserve and manage fisheries in Gulf state waters and complements NOAA’s FishWatch.gov, which covers fisheries in federal waters.
 
“Working with the other fisheries management authorities in the Gulf, we’re able to provide the most comprehensive, accurate resource available on the sustainability of Gulf seafood,” stated LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Seafood buyers increasingly require this information before making purchases—FINFO goes above and beyond to meet this need.”
 
FINFO profiles top Gulf fisheries, with information ranging from basics about species biology and habitat to how fisheries operate and how each state ensures these operations are sustainable. Through FINFO, users can quickly review the status of Gulf fisheries resources or dig deeper to understand the robust science and responsible management at work to ensure these resources are viable for generations to come. “FINFO does not have a list or rating system,” according to Barham. “FINFO tells the full story of the sustainability of Gulf seafood—how we take great care of our valuable fisheries resources through research, regulations, and responsible harvesting practices.”
 
FINFO uses education, rather than advocacy, to help seafood buyers appreciate the unique environment of the Gulf and demonstrate that Gulf seafood is not only world-famous but sustainable, too. “For decades, our biologists, managers, and fishing industry have worked hard to ensure Louisiana’s fisheries operate sustainably and continue to provide some of the best quality, best tasting seafood on the market,” stated LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “And now, through FINFO, we’re able to clearly explain this to the world.” 
 
LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
 
For press inquiries, contact Katie Semon ksemon@wlf.la.gov or 571-217-0512.

 

Next Episode of Alive In America’s Delta to Explore Endangered Species in the Gulf of Mexico March 18

Release Date: 03/13/2014

 

March 13, 2014 -The northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico are extraordinarily rich and diverse but some of the marine, mammals and bird species are in danger of being lost forever. The next installment of LPB’s six-part series Alive! In America’s Delta,entitled Endangered in the Gulf, focuses on endangered Gulf species, the perils, success stories and how cutting edge technology is being used to monitor and protect them.
 

 “Through the show, we hope to encourage the people of Louisiana to become educated about and aware of threats to species, success stories on species recovery and the opportunity to promote species conservation,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham.

One highlight includes the resurgence of the Brown Pelican in Louisiana. Widespread use of the pesticide DDT led to the extinction of the Brown Pelican in the 1960s. After the insecticide was banned in the early 1970s, Louisiana wildlife officials brought in 1,200 young pelicans from Florida and three decades later the pelicans were making a comeback. In 2009, the magnificent bird was removed from the Endangered Species List.  “At a time when so many species of wildlife are threatened, we once in a while have an opportunity to celebrate an amazing success story,” explained Barham.

The episode also touches on imperiled habitat in the Gulf and the species that rely on it. Five of the world's seven endangered sea turtle species rely on habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Other endangered marine species like the West Indian Manatee, the Gulf Sturgeon, and Sperm and Right Whales and birds such as the Piping Plover and the Least Tern make the Gulf their home.

Five species of sea turtles who reside in the Gulf are also in danger, but the Kemp’s Ridley turtle faces particular challenges. Though an array of projects are helping with sea turtle protection, wildlife officials say the number of deaths have risen in the last four years. With 15,000 identified species in the Gulf, Wildlife and Fisheries personnel say they need the public’s help in reporting injured animals to make sure they get the life-saving treatment they need.

While there have been some success stories, the preservation and protection of the endangered species in the Gulf will always be a work in progress particularly in light of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Gulf is a resilient system, but one that needs growing attention if this vital resource for future generations is to be protected.

This program was produced for LPB by Christina Hendrick Melton. Rex Q. Fortenberry, Keith Crews, Gary Allen and Mark Carroll did the principal photography with Fortenberry editing the program. Mike Esnault composed the music.

The show premieres on Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. followed by an encore showing of Delta Guardians at 8 p.m.  WLAE-TV in New Orleans will air Endangered in the Gulf on Friday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquires, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Gather for Annual Meeting

Release Date: 03/12/2014

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Gather for Annual Meeting

March 12, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting at the McGowan Brake Club Inc., near Bastrop, on Feb. 25.
 
Kent Anderson, president of the McGowan Brake Club Inc., hosted representatives from 13 safe harbor properties including, LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Alabama Natural Heritage Program.
 
Meeting participants viewed presentations on LDWF’s Deer Management Assistance Program, the status of the Louisiana pine snake listing, the West Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership, RCW and the ecosystem management at McGowan Brake Club Inc. and at Ouachita Partners ATP. A field tour was conducted on two safe harbor properties in Morehouse Parish.
 
Kent Anderson and David Cassels from BTG Pactual (representing Ouachita Partners ATP) were presented plaques by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham recognizing their efforts in co-hosting this year’s meeting.
 
LDWF received a USFWS, Section 10 permit, authorizing it to administer the RCW Safe Harbor Program in January of 2005. Multiple partners, including non-governmental organizations, private landowners, environmental consultants and state and federal agencies helped shaped the final document.
 
The RCW Safe Harbor Program is designed to encourage landowners to actively and voluntarily manage pine timberlands for the benefit of the RCW, while reducing the fear of having an endangered species on their property. Landowners agree to employ one or more of five voluntary habitat management strategies that have a net conservation benefit for the RCW. These management strategies include: forest management, hardwood midstory management, prescribed burning, RCW cavity management and RCW population management.
 
For information regarding enrolling in the RCW Safe Harbor Program, contact Eric Baka, RCW Safe Harbor Coordinator at 318-487-5885 or ebaka@wlf.la.gov.
 
*Photo caption: LDWF Secretary Robert Barham thanks co-hosts Kent Anderson and David Cassels at the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting.
 

 

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